The Blyde River Canyon is a significant natural feature of South Africa, located in Mpumalanga, and forming the northern part of the Drakensberg escarpment. It is 16 miles in length and is, on average, around 2500 feet deep. It consists mostly of red sandstone. The highest point of the canyon is over 6300 feet above sea level whilst its lowest point is well under 2000 feet above sea level. By some measures it is the third largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon in the United States and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia but this depends heavily on one’s definition of a canyon. By any definition it is one of the largest canyons on earth, unquestionably being the largest ‘green canyon’ due to its lush subtropical foliage, and it has some of the deepest precipitious cliffs of any canyon on the planet. It is the second largest canyon in Africa, after the Fish River Canyon, and is known as one of the great wonders of nature on the continent.
Possibly the best view in the whole of the Blyde River Canyon is of the “Three Rondavels”, huge, round rocks, thought to be reminiscent of the houses or huts of the indigenous people, known as rondavels. This canyon is part of the famous Panorama route. This route starts at the town Graskop and includes God’s Window, the Pinnacle and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.